Hebrew Voices #22 – A Physicist on Creation, Evolution, and the Human Soul (Rebroadcast)

A-Physicist-on-Creation-Evolution-and-the-Human-Soul-300pxIn this episode of Hebrew Voices, A Physicist on Creation, Evolution, and the Human Soul, Nehemia Gordon continues a conversation with orthodox Jewish physicist Dr. Gerald Schroeder. Because modern Bible commentators tend to bend the Bible to match science, Schroeder studied Nachmanides which led him to see no discrepancy between six days of creation ad 14 billion years of evolution. While religious minds grapple with the concept of time compression, Schroeder claims it is elementary stuff to physicists—and all a matter of perspective.

While asserting his belief that life on earth developed from the simple to the complex, Schroeder states his objections to modern evolutionary theory which is based on random mutations—a theory that he considers flawed as well as theological—and therefore one that should be banned from schools. Lastly, Schroeder shares his views on soulless, human-like creatures who lived before God breathed life into “the Adam.”

Download A Physicist on Creation, Evolution, and the Human Soul


Hebrew Voices #22 - A Physicist on Creation, Evolution, and the Human Soul

You are listening to Hebrew Voices with Nehemia Gordon. Thank you for supporting Nehemia Gordon's Makor Hebrew Foundation. Learn more at NehemiasWall.com.

Announcer: Le ma’an Zion lo ekhesheh, u’l’ma’an Yerushalayim lo eshkot. (For Zion’s sake I will not be silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest. Isaiah 62:1)

Nehemia: Shalom, this is Nehemia Gordon. I’m back here with Hebrew Voices, and I am sitting here in Jerusalem with Dr. Gerald Schroeder. He’s an Orthodox Jew, he has a PhD from MIT, he’s taught at some of the top institutions in Israel, science institutions, Weitzman Institute, Hebrew University. He’s seen nuclear explosions!

Gerald: Quite a few.

Nehemia: He’s literally a nuclear physicist. Now he teaches at the College of Jewish Studies in the Old City, what’s also called Aish HaTorah. His first book was called Science and the Big Bang, he’s written a bunch of other books that we’re going to have links to on the website, The Science of God, The Hidden Face of God, God According to God. But today, we’re going to try to focus as much as possible on this topic of God and…

Gerald: Genesis.

Nehemia: Genesis and the Big Bang. You were telling me just before we started about a conflict that people have when it comes to faith and science. Tell me about that.

Gerald: Not everyone. As they say, different strokes for different folks. But I’ve met so many people, literally thousands, not ones, or tens, more than a thousand, who say they’d like to believe the Bible has some aspect of real divinity to it, as opposed to it being just a wonderful story. There’s a God. But what about the Bible? How can it be that Genesis chapter 1 tells us in six days God creates the universe, that’s the first sentence, and by the time they get to verse 27, which is already 5.5 or 6 days later, you’ve got humans, Adam, and by verse 31 the chapter’s finished. From the creation of the universe up to humanity you’ve got 30 sentences and 6 days, because it’s broken up into 6-day units.

How can it be 6 days, when science says quite clearly, the data gets stronger and stronger, approximately 14 billion years old? How can it be 14 billion years, and the Bible says 6 days?

Nehemia: So for many people, that’s an obstacle to their faith in the Torah, in the Bible.

Gerald: It’s a firewall.

Nehemia: Okay. And a lot of the people listening to this program, certainly my tendency is to be a literal six-day believer in creation. A lot of the people listening are Young Earth Creationists. You’re not a Young Earth Creationist. Let’s put that out there - am I right? Was it six 24-hour days?

Gerald: You see, Nehemia? You’ve got a problem here. The problem is that…

Nehemia: He’s a physicist so the answer is both. [laughing]

Gerald: Yes! The answer is both literally…

Nehemia: Is it six 24-hour days or billions of years? Yes. [laughing]

Gerald: Yes, yes, yes.

Nehemia: Okay, so tell us how that can be.

Gerald: Much of this… I put the numbers in. I was the lucky guy that put the numbers in. But I want to make it clear…

Nehemia: Are you saying that before you, people hadn’t done this? People hadn’t figured…?

Gerald: No. This is new.

Nehemia: This is your discovery.

Gerald: I’m the first one to put these numbers through it. But I was led to it by a commentator in about the year 1200 called Nachman, and he’s with an N, Nachmanides. Then the earlier statements, there were early ones, Rav Tanhuma, about 1,800 years ago. I only use ancient Biblical commentaries. When it comes to the science; modern science. But as far as understanding the Bible, no modern Biblical commentary, because all modern commentators are bending the Bible to match the science.

Nehemia: So you’re saying these traditional Jewish commentaries led you to this idea that the world is both billions of years old and six days old, around 6,000 years old at the same time?

Gerald: Yes. Not “led me”, they made it.

Nehemia: The creation was six days.

Gerald: Yes, it would be useful if the people listening can quickly pull out a copy of Genesis 1. If you don’t have a bible…

Nehemia: You must do that. Stop what you’re doing on the treadmill, stop what you’re doing on your bicycle, and go pull out Genesis 1 and read it. That’s your homework. Go on.

Gerald: Get it on your iPhone, or however you want to do it. So first of all, we see Genesis chapter 1 is broken into six days. The first sentence, “God creates the heavens and the earth.” Watch out for English translation. We’ll do that maybe at another time. I don’t want to get off the track.

Nehemia: So you’re saying there’s stuff in the Hebrew that’s lost in the English, is that it?

Gerald: It doesn’t even match the English at all.

Nehemia: So that’s the first problem.

Gerald: I look back in time, and I see from my perspective here on earth, 14 billion years’ worth of history. And those years went by. But how would they be perceived? Here is the key operational word.

Nehemia: Everybody listen – here’s the key.

Gerald: How would they be perceived from the Bible’s perspective of the beginning, looking forward? I have to run all that information – and it’s totally a thought experiment – back in time to the beginning of the Biblical clock, which we know is on day number one, because that’s why it says, “day one”. That was the whole point of the day one…

When I run anything back in time, as we saw from the galaxy experiment, time is compressed to a different perspective. And that’s why the change in the calendar starts with Adam forward. Once you get years talked about again in chapter 5, it’s the first time that time is mentioned after the six days and then the Sabbath. Adam and Eve live 130 years, and have a kid named Seth. Seth lives 105 years, and has a kid named Enosh, it’s chapter five. Where did they live, in outer space? They lived on earth. From Adam forward it’s earth time.

But what about the six days?

Nehemia: This is the key. You’re saying those first six days aren’t earth time?

Gerald: From the Bible’s perspective, it’s the Bible time. The mistake I make in Genesis and the Big Bang and the science guys say, “from God’s perspective”. We don’t know God’s perspective. We know the Bible’s perspective. God gives us information in the Bible. I’ve got a good feeling that God’s knowledge exceeds the Bible. But that’s what we get.

Nehemia: From the Bible’s perspective it was six days. But if you were out in space…

Gerald: Six 24-hour days.

Nehemia: If you were out in space it was 14 billion years, or something like that.

Gerald: In reality, as we see it, imagine it was billions of years, the dinosaurs appear about 210 or 220 million years ago, and they disappear 65 million years ago, from a force from outer space. Cavemen, etc. Now, just because they’re made… All of this is on my website, by the way. It’s in The Science of God.

Nehemia: And your book, The Science of God and Genesis and the Big Bang.

Gerald: Yeah, but that’s…

Nehemia: What’s your website? You said it’s on your website?

Gerald: Geraldschroeder.com.

Nehemia: Geraldschroeder.com. We’ll have that link on nehemiaswall.com.

Gerald: You go there, there’s one essay called The Age of the Universe. In five pages, about 20 minutes of reading, you get to hear me blabbing away for an hour, blah, blah, blah, here.

So now we have a view of time looking from the beginning, looking forward. But we don’t know exactly what moment or what the universe is like at its creation. And so brilliantly, it just boggles the imagination. We are told by the commentators that are telling us that it’s that view of time, that when matter forms, M-A-T-T-E-R, when matter forms, time grabs a hold. Now that’s very interesting. The first creation wasn’t…

Nehemia: You’re saying somebody wrote this 800 years ago, or 1,000 years ago?

Gerald: Yeah, Nachmanides.

Nehemia: Isn’t that related somehow to…

Gerald: Energy?

Nehemia: The theory of relativity?

Gerald: Absolutely. I’m just saying…

Nehemia: So that’s something Einstein discovered, but it was known, you’re saying, or believed, 800 years ago?

Gerald: I’m just saying we now know that radiant energy, like light beams or heat coming off the wall or anything, or the beams that carry your telephone, they’re outside of time. They pass, by definition, at the speed of light they travel. At the speed of light, time doesn’t exist.

It’s only when stable matter forms – I’m not reading this in – “mi sheyesh yefos bo zman.” “When you have yesh, stable matter, time grabs a hold.” And that turns out to be - I could pull the text right off the shelf like the first three minutes - that turns out to be the first stable matter that makes the elements of the universe - are protons. Hydrogen is one proton. Helium is two protons.

Nehemia: So from the time there were protons, there was time, is what you’re saying, according to Jewish scholars 1,000 years ago?

Gerald: No, time is going by, but nothing’s recording the time because time can go by but nothing’s recording it because there’s no stable matter. Only matter gets older. Light waves don’t get older. Look - you can’t get everything in one sentence, one 15 minutes.

So what do I have here? I see the energy level or temperatures exactly the same, two different words for the same thing, that is required for the protons to form. I don’t know – I’m a nuclear physicist, I would know that, but I used my numbers. It’s called the “threshold energy of protons”. That’s a certain energy level. The easiest way of talking about it is temperature. It’s a certain temperature, temperature’s energy.

And I know the temperature of space today, not the temperature of the sun. The universe is very cold. It’s three degrees above absolute zero. In Centigrade, it’s minus 270. In Fahrenheit, it’s minus 450.

Nehemia: That’s the universe deep in space.

Gerald: That’s the black of space, not direct sunlight.

Nehemia: That’s really cold.

Gerald: If I take the ratio of the temperature of space today, this minus 450, it’s called the famous “three degrees of absolute zero”, at minus 450. People are thinking, “450 Fahrenheit primarily or Centigrade, what…?”

Nehemia: At these temperatures, nobody has any idea what you’re talking about. [laughing]

Gerald: No, no. If I take that ratio how cold it is today, versus the temperature at which protons and neutrons form, I have a ratio of how much space has stretched. That ratio, Nehemia, is 900 billion. That is to say, the universe is now 900 billion times larger stretched out, than when the…

Nehemia: And why is that significant for this discussion?

Gerald: Because that tells…

Nehemia: What does it lead us to?

Gerald: That means when I look back and see 14 billion years, if I want to go back to the Bible’s perspective, I have to go back to the time when the universe was 900 billion times smaller. Time and the perception, the perception of time was compressed by 900 billion.

Nehemia: So you’re saying the 14 billion years of the universe would have been perceived as 6 days, is that… six 24-hours days?

Gerald: No. 14 billion years of the universe would have been perceived by 14 billion years divided by 900 billion.

Nehemia: Which is six days?

Gerald: Five-and-a-half days.

Nehemia: Okay.

Gerald: No, don’t say okay. It’s pretty bloody phenomenal!

Nehemia: It is, but I’m not sure I understand it. Tell me in plain English one more time. Because the universe is 900 billion times bigger than it was to begin with, therefore…

Gerald: From the beginning of the clock. And the Biblical perception or perspective of time for those first six days is from the beginning looking forward. I can’t use my perception of time, my perspective.

Nehemia: Okay. So our perception of time today is that it was 14 billion years, but from the moment the universe was created, it would have been looked at forward as 5.5 or 6 days, 24-hour days? You’re saying it’s not based on some doctrine or belief, but based on math, right?

Gerald: Totally.

Nehemia: Which you’re not going to explain now, because it’s way too complicated, I’m sure.

Gerald: No, it’s five simple pages. Go to geraldschroeder.com, The Age of the Universe. It’s an essay there, The Age of the Universe.

Nehemia: Okay. And there you have the mathematics for those who know math, they can confirm this.

Gerald: It’s a division! 14 billion years divided by 900 billion. The zeros all drop out, and you’ve got 14 years divided by 900.

Nehemia: It comes out to about five-and-a-half or six days.

Gerald: No. The irony is, the embarrassment is, it comes to be five-and-a-half days, because when does the Biblical clock begin? When Adam is created.

Nehemia: Which is in the middle of sixth day.

Gerald: Yeah, which comes out to be five-and-a-half days. I want to make it clear. They put this book on Amazon’s best seller list…

Nehemia: The Science of God, yeah.

Gerald: It was on the best-seller list for the entire year, in the field of science. I’m not bragging now, I want to make it very clear, but I’ll make it clear that this is not just some honky-tonk science Bible-thumping thing. This is reality. In the field of science, it was the largest selling book worldwide, for an entire year.

Nehemia: So basically, what you’ve described here…

Gerald: Which means Brian Greene, Stephen Hawking, Richard Dawkins, all the famous names you know. And then little Schroeder with…

Nehemia: The Science of God.

Gerald: The Science of God, the largest selling science book.

Nehemia: We’ll have a link to that on the website, nehemiaswall.com.

Gerald: I’m not selling books, but I want to make it clear.

Nehemia: I want people to go read your book, because what we’re offering them here is the tip of the iceberg. And I always tell people when I try to convince them to buy my book, it’s not because I want to sell the book, it’s because I want them to get more information. If I’m going to do it teaching - I sometimes have been known to speak for like 10 hours - but still, that’s nothing compared to what’s in the book. Certainly, for your four books, we could sit here for three weeks and not get to everything. We’re not going to do that.

But I do appreciate you explaining this. This was some really complicated stuff. People, take a deep breath, stop on the treadmill and go to his website, geraldschroeder.com, and read these books, and get some more information. There are some videos there, as well, 50 videos.

Gerald: I’ve never put any videos up, but people…

Nehemia: But people video you… okay.

Gerald: But I want to make it clear, this is by Free Press of Simon & Schuster. It’s not a science publishing company, it’s reader friendly.

Nehemia: Okay. Excellent. Now, this idea of the perception of time - I’m going to ask this because I grew up watching Carl Sagan and Cosmos, where he talked about billions and billions of stars…

Gerald: Which is why I wrote my first book.

Nehemia: Oh, really?

Gerald: That’s exactly why I wrote my first book.

Nehemia: It’s really interesting, my father was an Orthodox rabbi, and he never watched television except for football games. But we sat around, the entire family, watching Cosmos together, back in the ‘70s, and so it really left an impression on me.

Gerald: If he’d only known, Carl Sagan… My first rabbi, the following was what my first Rabbi told me, Herman Pollack, of blessed memory. I remember, so I’m going back many decades, he married Carl Sagan to his first wife, Lynn Margulis.

Nehemia: Was Carl Sagan Jewish?

Gerald: Of course!

Nehemia: I had no idea.

Gerald: Are you serious?

Nehemia: I didn’t know that.

Gerald: Of course he was. But he didn’t know anything. What Rabbi Pollack said, “All he knew was that he was Jewish.” He didn’t know any traditions, but he still wanted a rabbi to do the chuppah.

Nehemia: Oh, okay. But he didn’t know anything about Judaism is what you’re saying?

Gerald: Exactly.

Nehemia: Except that he was Jewish. [laughing]

Gerald: Except for everything that was mystical and wonderful. He said, “The Buddhists said that, and the Tibetans said that,” and he didn’t realize it was…

Nehemia: What I want to get to is the twins. There is that scene in Cosmos where the one twin is waiting and the other goes at the speed of light and comes back and the first twin is old. Does that have something to do with what you were describing, or is that completely not related?

Gerald: It’s not related, but I talk about… not Carl Sagan, but in Genesis and the Big Bang, because it actually was done. There was an experiment done with clocks, not with people. It happens with people also, but…

Nehemia: And it wasn’t that the twin was an old man, it was a clock and it was milliseconds or something, right? [laughing]

Gerald: Yeah. But if you could measure that in human time, it’s also the same. The twin comes back a different age. But we can’t take…

Nehemia: Isn’t that the whole thing with the GPS system, and they have to constantly tweak it?

Gerald: Absolutely. Look, in my time, going back during the Cold War era, we always had the Strategic Air Command in the air. Those clocks had to be replaced with others. The planes were there for two weeks at a time, being refueled - or a week at a time - then they would come down, and a new plane would go up. Those clocks had to be reset all the time.

Nehemia: Wow. And so basically what that shows is that there are different perceptions of time within the physical universe.

Gerald: That’s true.

Nehemia: That’s an issue of physics, not theology or doctrine or religion.

Gerald: It’s a reality.

Nehemia: It’s a reality of physics.

Gerald: And every astronomer knows it. Even if you say, “What else is new?” We’ve been saying that for over 200 years, 150 years.

Nehemia: All right. I appreciate you talking about this. Let me just get to a couple more things before we wrap it up. One of the things that we had talked about before the recording – and I’ve got to bring this, because this is some really powerful stuff – you were talking about God being dynamic in the universe, and our relationship with God, and you mentioned something about the spies and the hornets. Can you talk about that real quick?

Gerald: Yeah, “I will be that which I will be.”

Nehemia: We talked about that in the last episode. We’re doing two episodes, because there’s so much to talk about. So guys, go into the archives and listen to the previous episode with Dr. Schroeder. But the “Ehiyeh asher ehiyeh, I am that which I am,” or in the Hebrew, “I will be that which I will be,” you tied that into the spies who went to spy out the land in Egypt… Sorry, they went from the desert to the land of Canaan, and the hornets, and the beasts of the field.

Gerald: It’s an example of how God runs the world. “I will be that which I will be,” means it’s a dynamic God. It’s not a pigeon-hole God. An example of this would be of how God runs the world. Gods wants partnership. In fact, in God According to God, what you can pull out of that is, doctors want patsies. “Oh, yes. God wants us around to heal the land, to fix the land. We’re partners with God.” We’re going into what my wife calls “pre-state Israel,” Canaan. We’re going back…

Nehemia: 3,000 years ago or so, 3,500 years ago.

Gerald: Yeah, we’re going to pre-state Israel, 3,500 years ago, and it’s before the 40 years in the desert. Of course, just before we mess up, the spies go in. They come back and they say, “Wow, the land is great. It’s the greatest land. But there are giants in there, so let’s go back.”

I’m getting off the point. So, we’re going to go in but God says, “There is danger ahead, so I’m going to send in the hornets to drive out the snipers, to drive out the enemy.” But thank God, He says the most amazing thing. “But I’m not going to drive them out all at once, lest the beasts of the field multiply.” God says it in Deuteronomy, and He says it in Exodus also. “I’m not going to drive them out all at once.”

What’s going on here? If God could send the hornets in to drive out the enemy, why can’t God control the beasts of the field? Well, because lions are bigger than hornets, so God can’t control lions… Obviously not!

Nehemia: That’s ridiculous, right.

Gerald: Ridiculous. The fact is, God is saying, “I’ll give you a hand. I’ll get this system going. You’ve got to keep it going. I’ll drive out most of them, but I won’t drive them out all at once. That’s for you to do.” Because God could have just said, “I’ll drive them out all at once. I’ll knock out the beasts of the field. Go and take the land.” No, Joshua had to conquer the land. We are partners with God in doing this job, and it’s a pain in the neck, because if God runs the show altogether, we could just sit back with our feet up on the desk drinking cappuccinos.

Nehemia: And so basically the Jewish perspective – and I’ve said this before, and I think this is definitely the Tanakh perspective – is that mankind, we’ve got to do our share. God’s going to do His share, but we can’t just sit back with pacifism or fatalism and say, “Well, that’s just how it is. Nothing I can do about it. I’m not going to do anything about it, because there’s nothing I can do about it.” Rather, we have to do everything that we can do, and God will do what He has to do. You’re saying you learn that from the spies and the hornets. That’s a great teaching, I like that.

Gerald: Rabbi Shlomo Riskin once said… Maybe that was him also, “We should pray as if everything counts on God and act as if everything counts on us.”

Nehemia: I like that. That ties into another episode we did. You weren’t in it, but I did an interview with someone from New York University about the origin of sin. And one of the things she was saying is, “In the Dead Sea Scrolls, whenever they’re giving instruction, it’s all on you. But when you’re praying to God, you’re praying, ‘God, I can’t do this myself. I need You to do it for me.’” [laughing] So it’s very interesting. That goes back to the Dead Sea Scrolls, at least, and I think it’s probably in the Tanakh, as well. We can have a whole talk about that.

One more thing I want to talk about, and then we’ll wrap it up, just real quick - I want to talk about evolution. Can we talk about evolution?

Gerald: Okay. I’m going to…

Nehemia: And I just want to back up – you do believe there are six 24-hour days, but the perception of those days, one perception is 14 billion years, and one perception is 6 days. And there’s a whole science of math and nuclear physics…

Gerald: And they both happened at the same time.

Nehemia: And they both happened, but they’re perceived in different ways. But now let’s talk about evolution. And this is the question for a lot of people that I speak to. They say, “I don’t care if there were dinosaurs 65 million years ago. But did God take dirt and blow into it the nishmat chaim, the neshama, the spirit of life, into Adam, into the first man? That’s really what it comes down to for a lot of people. If He didn’t, then none of this matters. We don’t have a soul.

Gerald: I think we learn from the text, but again using ancient commentary, that life developed from the simple to the complex via mutations. The problem with the word “evolution” is that it includes the idea that the mutations were random. That is intrinsic in the meaning that is used in American English. And I’m going to throw this in - if any one of you people are lawyers, good, high-powered lawyers, let’s take it together to the federal courts, and textbooks will have to put in that if they’re using the word “evolution”, we do not know if the mutations are random or not. There are no data that support that the mutations are random.

The mutations that made some lions stronger and some weaker did happen. The question is, what drove those mutations? And when people use the word “evolution” and say that the mutations were random, that is a theological statement, and according to the federal law of the United States, it is forbidden to teach theology. I’m probably not going to get it all in, but I want to get this in.

Nehemia: No, please. Sure.

Gerald: I hope someone hears this, because I’ll be happy to go with them.

Nehemia: You’ll testify before Congress about this?

Gerald: I’ll bring in the science understanding of it, because that’s what the other lawyers didn’t have back in Pennsylvania about 20 years ago, that the word “evolution” as used in American science is that random mutations make changes, and in some lions it’s strong, some weak, some cheetahs are fast, some cheetahs… But the key is on “random”.

The word “random” in random mutations is a theological statement. It says that God is not active. It’s a negative theological statement that’s as strong as saying, “God is active,” and it’s forbidden in science classrooms in the United States of America. It should be that in every textbook that if they’re going to use the word “evolution” they have to put a sticker in there or make it clear in the text that we do not know if the mutations were random or designed.

Nehemia: So that’s what you’re basically saying - you believe there’s some sort of development of species, but the mutations that bring about that development is divine intervention. Is that what you’re saying?

Gerald: My feeling is that you can’t explain it mathematically by random reactions, and most scientists, even biologists, say it that it can’t but it did happen, it must be random. I think we can take this to the Supreme Court and actually win the case, where you have to say that we don’t do random.

My understanding is life developed from the simple to the complex. I have no question about that. That’s why there’s the six days of Genesis flowing through. You don’t start out with people. You start out with life in the waters, which happens to be correct.

Nehemia: So this is guided development rather than random…

Gerald: Yeah.

Nehemia: …evolution?

Gerald: I think it’s a mixture. If I see how God runs the world, like floods…

Nehemia: There are some things that are random. But overall, there’s a guiding hand of God.

Gerald: God has a goal that may be meandering. One of my students gave me such a good insight - God is always present. God lets His system run itself, and when it passes a certain threshold of being beyond what God wants, God pushes it back. The flood is an example. God pushes it back on line, it meanders some more. God pushes it back on line. So it’s a mixture.

Nehemia: That’s interesting. There’s a great example in archaeology, which is my background. There’s Hezekiah’s Tunnel, which is one of the most amazing things in Jerusalem. People who come here should go to the City of David, go to the Hezekiah’s Tunnel. It’s this S-shaped tunnel that they dug in preparation for the Assyrian invasion, to put the water into the city. What they did is, they came from two different directions, and the difference in height from the two directions is like millimeters… It’s almost nothing. And nobody, to this day, knows how they did it, because they had no survey equipment, it was underground, they’re digging in the dark with oil lamps, and they somehow met in the middle.

We have an ancient Paleo-Hebrew inscription that describes how they met in the middle. But how they got to that point, nobody knows. What’s interesting, though, is that as you go through the tunnel there are what are called “false starts”, where they started digging down in this direction and then they realized, “No, it’s not that way,” and they corrected. And somehow they ended up with a perfect S where they met in the middle. And that reminds me of what you’re saying here - that God is there. I believe that was the hand of God, because in the Book of Isaiah He tells them, “Don’t surrender to the Assyrians.” “Okay, we’re not going to surrender to the Assyrians. What do we do? We’d better make preparations.” And they dug that tunnel and they build the broad wall, and different things. That’s pretty cool.

So you’re saying that in science, you believe there’s a similar thing, where there’s a certain amount of randomness, but then it’s the guiding hand of God that’s guiding evolution, or what you call, “development” along. Is that right?

Gerald: Yeah, because development is a neutral term. And I think life did develop from the simple to the complex and that it was a flow. It’s not my opinion, but from Maimonides and the Guide for the Perplexed…

Nehemia: 1190.

Gerald: 1190, before people are digging up the fossils, and the Talmud, 1,800 years ago, in the year 200, or 300, it was written down in three stages, the year 200 and 400. It talks about beings – beings that had the same…

Nehemia: The Talmud says this?

Gerald: Yes.

Nehemia: Or Maimonides says it?

Gerald: No, Maimonides brings it from the Talmud. He doesn’t invent it.

Nehemia: Okay, that’s there were beings…?

Gerald: Beings – I’m using the word “beings” – that had the same shape, and the same intelligence as humans. Get this straight. The same shape…

Nehemia: What?

Gerald: …and the same intelligence as humans, but they lacked the neshama. If you look at Genesis chapter 1, the word “creation” appears only three times. The first sentence of the Bible, “God creates the heavens and the earth.” That gets the system going. Life appears on day three, the word creation does not appear. On day five, animal life appears also on day five, in verse 20 where it says, “God creates a bunch of animals.” We forget what the animals are. Most of the translations are wrong. But the word “creation” appears, “briyah”. It’s different from making and forming.

Nehemia: There’s “yetzar” and “bara,” it’s two different words, okay.

Gerald: Only God does creation.

Nehemia: So what’s the third one?

Gerald: The third one is verse 27, God creates the “Adam”, thank you, Peggy Ketz (p. 214 The Science of God). Why? God doesn’t create Adam. God creates “the Adam”, the English misses it totally. In verse 26…

Nehemia: What’s the sense of that?

Gerald: In verse 26 God says, God says, “Let’s make Adam,” but in verse 27 God creates “the Adam”.

Nehemia: Which is…?

Gerald: The neshama. All of ancient commentaries say there was only physical creation. I want to make that clear. All of ancient commentary says there was one physical creation, Genesis chapter 1 verse 1. So what about Genesis chapter 1 verse 20 when God creates the animals? It can’t be a physical creation, Nehemia. So it’s not physical, it must be…

Nehemia: Metaphysical.

Gerald: It must be metaphysical.

Nehemia: He whispered the answer, okay. I think they heard that, too. [laughing]

Gerald: It must be metaphysical. Metaphysical, the nefesh, the soul of animal life. It gives them a level of choice, different from plants.

Nehemia: Ah… So He created some kind of sentient being, a dog that knew it was a dog - or whatever it was - or a slug or whatever, coming out... But it had some kind of consciousness is what you’re saying?

Gerald: Yeah, and choices.

Nehemia: Then for “ha Adam”, which you’re saying “the Adam”, then He created for him a neshama. What is neshama, for those who don’t know Hebrew?

Gerald: Neshama will be the soul of humanity. I think the neshama knows what Jesus said was the most important sentence in the world.

Nehemia: What’s that, you’re quoting Jesus? [laughing] Everybody, slow down. An Orthodox Jew quoting Jesus.

Gerald: Because Jesus is quoting an Orthodox Jew, namely Jesus himself. Because the central statement – as my wife, Barbara Sofer’s, a great writer – says it’s the Jewish pledge of allegiance. “Hear O’Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.” Deuteronomy chapter 6 verse 4. When the Disciples ask Jesus, it’s in Mark and Matthew, it’s the most important sentence ever made. Jesus says the following. “Hear O’Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.”

Nehemia: And that’s the Shema. “Shema Yisroel

Gerald: Hashem Eloheinu, Hashem Echad. The Lord our God…”

Nehemia: Hashem Echad… okay.

Gerald: “The Lord is One.” Jesus quotes it, but Jesus was Jewish, so it’s not surprising. So that’s what the neshama knows. The neshama in Genesis…

Nehemia: The soul. It’s not just the Jewish soul…

Gerald: No, God-forbid!

Nehemia: The human soul, just to be clear

Gerald: The human soul!

Nehemia: That every descendent of Adam had. And the seven billion humans today, you’re saying those seven billion humans, they all have this neshama.

Gerald: But I want to make it clear - Maimonides talks about these beings in the Talmud also. But Maimonides being more modern and a doctor, he’s…

Nehemia: It’s the 12th century, yeah. [laughing]

Gerald: He’s doesn’t mince words. These beings were humans? No, they were beings that had the same shape and the same intelligence as humans, the same height, but they weren’t Neanderthal. They had high…

Nehemia: They were Homo sapien sapiens.

Gerald: Exactly. There’s a Rabbi Sturman who said it perfectly. “We are Homo sapiens sapiens monotheistiums,” if you want to have the correct word for that. That would be the neshama. That’s the difference.

Nehemia: So that neshama, that’s soul, gives us the ability to recognize that the Lord is our God and the Lord is One, what it says in Deuteronomy. As you said, what Jesus said in…

Gerald: In Mark.

Nehemia: And what every Jew today - I know certainly in my upbringing, we were always taught the last words that should be spoken upon your lips before you die is the Shema. My father, the “Shema Yisroel, Hear O’Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One,” I know my father passed away a few years back. One of the things my sister who was with him shortly before, she said the Shema with him, and that was for our family, a very deep and moving thing. That this is something that’s in the soul and heart maybe of every human being.

Gerald: And that the soul doesn’t die. I have a whole book I’m writing now about…

Nehemia: Wow, so there’s another book coming out? What’s that going to be called?

Gerald: This is based on neurology. Neurologists have discovered the part of the brain that links to our - I’m not getting in too far, that is a link from our physical body to our metaphysical body. These souls are metaphysical. They’re not physical. You realize, there’s only one physical creation, Genesis chapter 1 verse 1. If the Bible says explicitly, “God created the animals and God created the Adam,” that neshama, that soul. That’s what changed.

Nehemia: Oh, interesting. So you’re saying the second and third time the word “bara” appears, He’s creating something metaphysical, not physical?

Gerald: Absolutely.

Nehemia: And that’s the nefesh of the animal and the neshama of the human being.

Gerald: But I didn’t say that. Nachmanides…

Nehemia: That was said by…

Gerald: Nachmanides.

Nehemia: Nachmanides said that,

Gerald: And Maimonides.

Nehemia: And Maimonides, 800 years ago. Wow.

Gerald: Genesis chapter 2 verse 7 that God takes a lump of dirt, Adam comes from the root of “adamah”. It’s interesting, the animals…

Nehemia: Come on with that! [laughing]

Gerald: The animals are made from the adamah also, but they’re not called “adamah”. I understand Genesis chapter 2 verse 7, which is the controversial issue, God takes a lump... I think that sentence has four billion years of life’s development folded in. Some dirt becomes microbes, more mutations, not random, more mutations develop. They develop, and finally you get to a being that looks just like Nehemia.

Nehemia: But he doesn’t have a neshama yet until God creates one for him.

Gerald: Exactly, and then he becomes… Because the closing lines, the words of chapter 2 verse 7, “vene’efach l’ish veyhei dam lenefesh chaya.” You have to look at the closing lines, “that became a living soul.”

Nehemia: It says here, “Vayitzer Hashem Elohim et hadam afar min ha’adamah, veyipach be’apav nishmat hayim. Veyehi ha’adam lenefesh chaya,” which means…

Gerald: Veyehi ha’adam lefesh…” In the English translation, “Man became a living being.” But the Hebrew, “veheyi ha’adam le…” the “le” sound…

Nehemia: He became.

Gerald: He became to a living being. He became to a living being, and the Lamed, we are told by these ancient commentators, shows a transition from a lesser to a higher. The neshama changed…

Nehemia: Just to be clear - there was a man who existed, he was alive, and you believe he was born to parents, a mother and father.

Gerald: I don’t believe. Maimonides says it, and Nachmanides… they all say it.

Nehemia: Well, there are millions of people who don’t believe it, who believe that that first man… that he himself was dirt that came alive. But you’re saying he was born to parents, but he didn’t have that nefesh chaya yet, that soul…

Gerald: Nor did they - they were animals. They were animals.

Nehemia: …until God created that and gave it to him.

Gerald: They didn’t look like monkeys. They looked like people. Yeah.

Nehemia: Okay, so there were people who looked like people, who didn’t have the soul, and the significance of Adam in Genesis 2:7 becoming a human being is that he was given this soul.

Gerald: Yes.

Nehemia: That’s what you’re saying?

Gerald: We date that by adding up the years, and it comes out to be 5776 is the year at the moment. You should know - in the British Museum, in The Science of God I have two chapters on this. I’ll tell you, and I’m going to say now in the strongest meaning of the word, thank God. Barbara and I were lecturing in England just as The Science of God was going to final editing. We had the afternoon off with no lectures. We were lecturing back-to-back. We do it together, it’s kind of fun, actually. We went to the British Museum. I had no idea about what I’m about to say, until then, and thank God, it got into the book.

I went to the Mesopotamian wing, and there was this section in the Mesopotamian called The Earliest Cities. It describes on the wall, I’m sure you’ve seen, Nehemia, a photograph of the plaque on the wall which tells you what you’re seeing in this entire wing – not a room, a wing.

Nehemia: Of the British Museum, yeah.

Gerald: Science tells us, archeology, that society changed so dramatically 5,500 years ago, that the British Museum… Now remember, the British are very active, and we’re talking about Mesopotamia here - Iran, Iraq of today. It changed so dramatically that the British Museum has an entire section that took place and they date it 5,500 years ago. Does that sound familiar?

Nehemia: Yeah.

Gerald: The neshama changed the world.

Nehemia: So you’re saying there were things that looked like human beings, they had the DNA, maybe, of human beings, but what they lacked was this metaphysical entity which is the neshama, the soul, and that’s what Genesis 2:7 is talking about.

Gerald: And it changed the world. The British Museum talks about before that time, there were no cities. There were settlements.

Nehemia: I know for a lot of people listening this is very controversial, and a lot of people will say, “Oh, no.” For example, there’s a lot of Young Earth creationists that will say, “No, absolutely not.” Every time they find an Australopithecus afarensis or they’ve found other ones recently, that every time they find one of those, those have no DNA connection, or we’re not descended from those. And you’re saying there’s no problem for us to be descended from them, because the part that makes us human is this soul that was given…

Gerald: The neshama.

Nehemia: …in Genesis 2:7, the neshama.

Gerald: No, chapter 1 verse 27, and 2:7, because it’s…

Nehemia: Genesis 1:27 it’s created, and Genesis 2:7 it’s actually blown into his nose.

Gerald: And it changed the world. It changed the world.

Nehemia: I want you to bring one last story - and then we really will end this – and that’s what you were telling me about, then I’ll close the book… Because you gave this whole, elaborate explanation about the perception of days, and we mentioned Young Earth Creationists. You were telling me about at Young Earth Creationist that you met, a man named Zola Levitt, who was a very ardent Young Earth Creationist. He read your book, and what happened?

Gerald: It was amazing. A project I…

Nehemia: You’ve been on his show. I’ve been on his show as well. He passed away in, I think, 2005 or something.

Gerald: Yeah, about a decade ago.

Nehemia: So what happened to Zola Levitt when he…

Gerald: I was on his show many, many times. Zola read the book and I get this phone call.

Nehemia: This is Genesis and the Big Bang?

Gerald: The first book, Genesis. That was the only book out at the time. This man tells me he’s the facilitator.

Nehemia: He’s the organizer, or whatever, or the coordinator, okay.

Gerald: In Israel. I apologize for so much for not remembering, because I met him many times. He says, “Zola would like to meet with you.” He was leaving that night. We set up two chairs outside the wall by Jaffa Gate. As you know, there’s…

Nehemia: A big green area.

Gerald: Yeah. We sat facing each other. They filmed it. He said, “I stayed up all last night reading your book. It changed me,” he said. “I’ve always believed that there’s a Young Earth. I’ve read this and I realize now that completely consistent with the Biblical text is a universe that from one perspective is young, and from our perspective and reality, is old. That is, there is an ancient…”

Nehemia: Well, they’re both reality, they’re just different perspectives.

Gerald: Exactly. The biblical perspective. And that’s why Bible starts with Adam. So I was really impressed by the fact that here was a person, I don’t know what’s his viewing audience, but it was a very large audience, and he was willing to say…

Nehemia: “I was wrong.”

Gerald: Yeah, “That I was wrong.”

Nehemia: That’s pretty rare. I know in the Jewish tradition, we have this concept that if you admit you’re wrong, that’s actually a very brave thing to do, and it’s an honorable thing. But I know for a lot of people coming from different perspectives they can never admit that they’re wrong, because they’ve got to have all the answers!

One of the things I learned many, many years ago is somebody who thinks he has all the answers probably doesn’t know too much. [laughing]

Gerald: Yeah. Just to tell you about Adam. I think Genesis 2 chapter 7 is saying it’s a development of life and then the neshama’s put in. That’s the lead-up sentence to the middle of the sentence where it says God puts it in. So, when you go to the museum – it’s important now, what I say – when you go to the museum or you read it in an anthropology textbook, and you see an exhibit, and there are people sitting around the fire, they’re inventing fire 10,000 years ago, and pottery 10,000 years ago, and farming 10,000 years ago, and compare it to 50,000 years ago. The museum 100% correct, the anthropology text books are 100% correct, by their definition of a person. By their definition of a person.

Their definition of a person is a being that looks like you, and looks like me, has your brains and my brains. The Bible has a slightly different perspective. The Bible says, “A person is a being that looks like you and looks like me, has your brains and my brains. It has a neshama.”

Nehemia: Wow. And you’re saying that this isn’t something you just cooked up to try to explain away the evidence. Maimonides said this and the Talmud says this before anybody dug up an Australopithecus and a Homo habilis. That’s very interesting. That’s a lot to think about, and I’m going to have to read this book, Genesis and the Big Bang.

I learned something from Larry King. He says, “He never reads the book before the interview, because then he doesn’t discover what’s going on.” He feels there should be discovery during the interview. And so I haven’t read your book, I’ll admit that. I have seen a lot of your lectures online. I’m going to go read the book, because right now, I’ll be honest with you, Dr. Schroeder, this is Hebrew Voices, and we hear lots of different perspectives, and we honor and respect them. I still, deep in my heart… I just believe it’s six 24-hour days.

Gerald: You’re right, it is six 24-hours days.

Nehemia: I know. And I understand what you’re saying… I don’t understand what you’re saying, I’ll be totally honest. I hear what you’re saying about the physics, and I know it’s beyond my comprehension, because I’m not good at math, and stuff like that, but to me, what I struggle with really is, there was a clump of dirt that God took in His hand – I don’t know if it was literal hand – but He took in His hand and He made that into the man. And you’re saying that happened, but with intermediaries, and descendants. And deep in my heart, I believe that it was that actual man made from the dirt.

But this is the beauty of what I’m trying to do, I think, is share Hebrew Voices. You have a different perspective, and you’re obviously a lot smarter than me when it comes to physics, and nuclear stuff, and certainly mathematics. And so I want people to go out there and read these books and hear different perspectives. Because a lot of people out there will say, “Well, it’s either Young Earth Creationism, six 24-hour days, and Satan planted the dinosaur bones to deceive us. It’s either that, or God doesn’t exist.”

And I’m saying, “You know what? There are other possibilities out there.” And we should respect people who have different possibilities. I’ve read some of the criticisms of what you say, and some people are saying, “You’re betraying the idea of six 24-hour days.” You know what? He’s another Hebrew Voice. Here’s a man who fought for the State of Israel, who loves Israel, who’s dedicated his life to living in this country and building this country, and I saw his grandson before, who is watching the minyans. He’s raising a family in this country and loves the Jewish people and the God of Israel.

This isn’t some kind of compromise – that’s the word they use, “compromise”. This isn’t a compromise. He’s a physicist who knows a lot more about physics than we do. And you can agree with him or disagree with him but have some respect for him. He’s not trying to undermine Scripture. On the contrary, he spends his days, every Sunday and Monday in the Old City, you were telling me you give this lecture and you teach to anybody who will walk in who wants to hear the truth about Scripture and understand it from the perspective of science.

And there is a deep-rooted approach in Judaism, going back really to the time of Maimonides, and maybe a lot before that, of trying to say that you really can’t understand the nature of God without understanding science, and I think that’s what Dr. Schroeder’s doing, and I have a lot of respect for him. And I’m really honored that you did this interview with me.

Gerald: Everyone that’s listening, and Nehemia also, you are more than welcome to come to my session.

Nehemia: I’m going to take you up on that invitation.

Gerald: Dress any way you feel comfortable, and just come and join the group.

Nehemia: Thank you very much. And he’s Dr. Gerald Schroeder, there will be links in the show notes on the website, nehemiaswall.com. Thank you, guys, for listening. Shalom.

This episode of Hebrew Voices was sponsored by Rocky and Cindy in New York. Thank you. Todah.

You have been listening to Hebrew Voices with Nehemia Gordon. Thank you for supporting Nehemia Gordon’s Makor Hebrew Foundation. Learn more at NehemiasWall.com.

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A Physicist on the Nature of God

Show Notes:

Dr. Gerald Schroeder earned his PhD degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in two fields: Earth Sciences and Physics. Schroeder served for five years on the staff of the MIT Department of Physics. In 1971, he moved to Israel where he joined the Weizmann Institute of Science and the Volcani Research Institute, while also having a laboratory at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In addition to his current work in radiation control, he teaches at Aish HaTorah College of Jewish Studies, is the author of five bestselling books, and he lectures on the extraordinary confluence of modern science and ancient Biblical commentary.

Nachmanides Commentary on Genesis 1:1
משיהיה יש, ייתפש בו זמן - misheyihyeh yesh, yitafes bo z'man "from when there is matter, time takes hold of it."

The Age of the Universe by Dr. Gerald Schroeder

Midrash Tanchuma

Verses Mentioned:

Schroeder-Genesis-and-the-Big-Bang Schroeder-Genesis-One Schroeder-God-According-to-God Schroeder-Hidden-Face-of-God Schroeder-Science-of-God

  • Walter Schwenk says:

    Schroeder’s books have done wonders to let the science inclined believe in the bible, and show the bible inclined how science supports their book. You can get all 4 books used at thriftbooks.com for less the 20 us $$. go for it.

  • Paulette Gray says:

    The word Day has many meanings all revolving around a specific period of time

  • Michael Gibson says:

    Blessed are you Nehemia, I feel I can hear the sound of scales falling to the ground, I know I am seeing if not better then surely from a better perspective.If people can change their context maybe they can discard their contacts…..eewww maybe I should have signed foo sooner.Shalom

  • David says:

    Nehemia, I sure appreciate how you honor and respect your guests.
    and thank-you ! for re-airing these interviews.
    But of course Schroeder has been a strong voice for confusion and deception. For some reason he has chosen to bend the bible to match “science”. Here are some examples–
    Life has developed from the simple to the complex. This is against all our observations, our models, mathematics, the laws of physics. Evolutionists admit it is counter-intuitive, but they say it happened so it must have happened. This is not a strong argument!
    God used death, tooth and claw, disease and suffering as tools to move evolution along, and then he called it “very good”. This is an attack on God’s name, his character! And if death existed before sin, why is death a problem, why does it need to be overcome?
    The universe shows signs of age, distant starlight for instance. Thus the earth is very old, and the bible language is code, almost allegory. No need for these gymnastics. There are cosmological models that deal much better with time appearing to move more slowly on earth. And don’t make the bible into code or allegory– that is how Replacement Theology took root.
    God breathed spirit into a hominoid creature? At one time some thoughts humans and chimps were “close relatives” ancestor. Now their respective genomes have been mapped and compared, so geneticists know they do not have a common ancestor.
    I have no idea how a sweet patriotic smart guy like Schroeder would come to believe these things, much less espouse them. In my experience a scientific outlook is a blessing when it comes to understanding and appreciating God and His ways. It is not an impediment to faith, and certainly not an excuse to rebel or compete or curry favor with man.

  • UK Jebb says:

    Interestingly, there are many questions in connection with the “Garden of Eden”. This must have been a special place for Adam and his wife, as God communicated with them directly. Accessing the tree of life had been a reality for them. However, after the fall something happened to their mind, as they became to be aware, in other words became conscious, and with it lost access to eternal life.

    As a consequence all die, Just like the animals.

    The following questions become apparent:”If consciousness comes with the fall, what sort of mind did Adam and Eve have before the fall? Did they even need sleep? What is the soul? Is it simply the spirit in man? A spirit which “became” aware?

    Now, Adam had been disobedient, this means he understood the consequence of death, in other words he understood what it means to die, and with it believed God , while Eve had been deceived, as the Devil confronted her with:” did God say…”therefore she took of a fruit which must have contained something to offset the aging process and deterioration of the body.

    Adam followed suit and he too ate of the fruit.

    This would mean humans don’t possess an immortal soul, just a fallen spirit, which needs to be redeemed..

    In my view, this puts the second Adam in perspective.

    • UK Jebb says:

      Sorry, the following should read ..Now, Adam had been disobedient, this means he understood the consequence of sin..which is death…

      Also, if I may add the following, to make the point somewhat clearer to why I don’t think that Adam and Eve had an immortal soul, nor anyone else,for that matter, is simple, the tree of life had not been accessed by them, therefore they need not have died physically , as they had not sinned, for the wages of sin is death.. but after the fall ..
      they had to leave the garden without being in possession of the gift of eternal life, therefore no immortal soul.

  • LINDA MURRAY says:

    I absolutely… LOVE, LOVE, LOVE… Gerald Schroeder! I first discovered him on Zola Levitt about 20 years ago. When I heard him explaint his… I jumped up & & said… ‘YES!’ He’s got it!

    THAT … is the answer to old earth/young earth. It’s BOTH1… & he figured it out! Makes PERFECT sense!

    I have his books… & I’d literally give my right arm to be able to sit down & talk with him for a whole day!

    What he mentioned near the begigning where he said he didn’t have time to go into what the Hebrew says in Gen.1:1… that is not there in English… I’ve laready seen him tell about that in another video he did.

    HERE… is the ACTUAL CORRECT translation of Gen. 1:1…

    *With a first cause of WISDOM God created the ALEPH-TAV (the Hebrew alphabet) & FROM that ALEPH-TAV He created the heavens & the earth.*

    He said that if it were suppose to be… in the beginning…’, the Hebrew word that WOULD have been used would have been… *BRE’SHONAH* instead of ‘bre’shiyt’.

  • Laurie says:

    I’m still looking at this and thinking. Yehovah created wisdom before the foundations of earth and everything on it, the heavens, planets, solar system… So when we were created, Yehovah established the Sun and the Moon for the hours and days. Genesis 1:3, that is when He established light and dark, evening and morning. One day. Before this there is no knowledge of time as we know it, as far as my little brain can comprehend. I believe that when He created the heavens and earth there was no sense of time that we know of. Not until light and dark were divided. When I start to think about what and how He has set the order and established everything, when Yehovah set things in motion! I can’t even comprehend what it was before we existed. I really love hearing and discussing these things. I think that in these things, we discover things about ourselves and our Creator.

  • Janice says:

    To take to Congress, run don’t walk. G-d creates the beginings, and rests from the intital Creation, however He is every present and is still working, re creating, twiking the system (puts back on line) He won’t totally rest from all His work til the 7th Day Millenium. Dr. Schroeder is the best.Were the first neshamas desined with Torah in them?

  • Richard Duplain says:

    God, “Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha……”,Psalm 2:4

    • AndrewRivers says:

      What are you saying God is laughing at?

      • Richard Duplain says:

        Hello Andrew, I believe He laughs heartily when He sees the extent to which man will go to explain the unknowable. Job 9:10 and Romans 11:33. This is akin to the pedal attempting to explain the workings of the bicycle.

        • AndrewRivers says:

          I’ve read several of his books. He doesn’t present this information as absolute fact but as a possible reconciliation for Torah with the scientific explaination.

  • Simon Greatwoods says:

    This Jewish sciencetist should get in touch with Kent hoven who would go to court tomorrow to stop the evolution lie taught in schools.

  • Natan Aviezer is a physicist too and disagrees very much with Gerald Shroeder’s approach. I think I heard Natan Aviezer on Dennis Prager’s program mention about it.. His criticism was that you can’t get a literal reading to work in line with evolution because the order is different, so even if you elongate the days it doesn’t work. Natan Aviezer says it’s not purely 6 days, because multiple very different dating methods give a long age. (though I suppose it is possible that there’s one thing that is causing all of them to show an old age). And IIRC Natan Aviezer takes issue with how Shroeder brings dinosaurs in. And I recall a blog mentioning that what Nachmonides was talking about was part of secular knowledge/understanding of the time…and at least the secular knowledge of the time was not in line with modern science. Natan Aviezer’s resolutions aren’t great either as he says if the torah contradicts science then the torah is being metaphorical, he justifies that approach by saying that the rambam uses that approach and if it’s good enough for the rambam then it’s good enough for him. Another calculation some use is to do with the idea of there being many worlds created before this one and cooking is then which world they choose they’re in, and the other problem is it puts the billions in worlds before the 6 days. Shroeder mentions a calculation here that i’ve not heard before or don’t recognise.. Listening to this interview i’m not aware of the/a issue with Shroeder’s calculation but i’d bet on there being one.

  • Andrew Allender says:

    I greatly enjoyed these podcasts. Halfway through the first podcast I ordered God According to God. I finished it in 6 days and immediately ordered The Science of God and The Hidden Face of God. I look forward to reading both of those as well. Of course no two people can ever agree wholly but these ideas, are my testimonial on coming back to my faith and ultimately finding my Hebrew faith. A journey from southern baptist roots, to pentecostal, to professing atheist that then led me into the sciences and the quantum world. Science led me back to Him, and what a wonderful life it’s been ever since. Keep up the great work guys!

  • Shabbat Shalom from Finland! I agree with Gerald about 50-65% as well. 15 billion years / Six Days is amazing concept! But I strongly disagree with the idea of “biblical evolution”. I don’t want to repeat here why b/c others have already did so and very well! But I wanted to make a comment about the famous biblical 6 000 years. Why we always use to count 6 000 years from Adam’s creation? Is that correct and are there other possibilities? History and astronomy proves the 6 000 years of the Bible / Biblical Redemption history until to this day starts from the fall of Adam. Not from Adam’s creation. So, if that’s correct we are at the 6th Millenium from the man’s fall. The history of the star names, constellations and various celestial signs which the Creator Yehovah made, set and named (Psalm 147:4) prove that b/c the King’s Torah and Teva, the celestial signs (Bereshit 1:14-17) don’t lie:

  • Christopher Gordon says:

    Very interesting interview. In the spirit of expressing ideas, I’ll briefly share my “Hebrew Voice” on the topic, since it lies somewhat with Nehemia and somewhat with Dr. Schroeder, and perhaps is in the vicinity of what some other audience members are thinking.

    I see no issue with factoring relativity into the equation. It was Dr. Russell Humphreys’s theory (he’s a Christian with scientific credentials as impressive as Dr. Schroeder’s) that first introduced me to the idea. He lays out visually in a “for dummies” way how “space-time fabric” can explain discrepancies in the passage of time based on perspective, and how creation week might look based on that and the biblical account, as least from an astronomically. You can look him up pretty easily. When he brings up his one little trinity point you can substitute it for “hayah, hoveh, yihiyeh” 😉

    I do however have huge issues with both the concepts of evolution and the “pre-” or “proto-Adamites”. In fact, far too many to list here. My problems are actually more with their validity based on scientific principles than biblical/theological ones (though there are plenty of those as well). The closer I have looked at all the bits and pieces that are proposed to be evidence for evolution, the more ridiculous the idea becomes. If it were a raft, it would have so many holes that it couldn’t float a duck. Removing random chance from the equation fixes some of those holes but many still remain. There are so many baseless assumptions worked into even the lowest levels of data interpretation that it is staggering. Ultimately it comes down to the fallacy of uniformitarianism, which is used to determine what has happened in the past without (sufficiently) recorded information. It’s not hard to understand why even a brilliant, astute scientist would miss or dismiss the problem, however, because it’s outside the academic thought process at this point and has been for quite some time. In other words, so much of the “basics” are simply taken for granted these days, and need very seriously to be re-evaluated.

    As for the “proto-Adamites”, where are they? Where did they go? Do they live among us? Where in scripture is it even hinted that such creatures existed? I guess the real question is, “Where did Nachmanides get the idea?” That would be interesting to find out.

    Nonetheless, I admire what Dr. Schroeder has done and is trying to do. As someone I know likes to say, “Though we may disagree on some things, we can still be friends.”

    • David says:

      Somebody asked where are the proto adamites? This is just an off the wall thought of mine. But there are many humans today who do not recognize “The Lord our God is one Lord”. They still go about denying the existance of God or worshipping a multitude of others.

      Frankly it wasnt until a few years ago did something change within me that I now realize what Adam did.

  • Joost says:

    Could not have said like he did:


  • Janet Sharp says:

    A couple of the best interviews I have heard.

  • Mina says:

    I agree with about 50-65% of Dr. Schroeder’s statements. If one can understand what Daniel 9’s 70 weeks really means, i.e it’s not 70 physical weeks it makes sense to me that one day to YHWH may not be what we perceive as one day. Moses wasn’t a scientist. As he wrote it might be the best way he could explain it to the people. We understand so many things that would boggle the ancient mind, yet we perceive it as simple knowledge.
    What I disagree with Dr. Schroeder is that there were humans without a soul. It’s my personal theory that life and our soul are connected. When people claim to have died they always describe being detached or outside their body. The divine spark that is our soul could also be the essence of life itself. If I’m right, all of creation embodies the divine spark connecting us to our God which could explain why scripture points out that nature itself knows God intimately (Job 12:7-10), or the heavens declare the glory of God (psalm 19:1-4). There are several more like these, saying the same thing. When mankind seeks to forget God, nature will declare His truth. I see that’s what science is being shown by the universe itself, and I’m grateful you’re able to bring information like this to us. Toda raba Nehemia.

  • Sandra Duncan says:

    I love this blending of science and theology, and especially the “implied” lesson of the Bible is the God helps those that help themselves. And they say it isn’t there!

  • Dawn Irion says:

    Thank you for bringing this. As a scientist I really appreciate any discussion that tries to marry scientific and Biblical understanding. I once believed in evolution, When you study science at the university it is taught as a given and there are no alternatives. When I worked at the university, and published as a geneticist, I continued in my delusional thinking.

    Dr. Schroeder is not a biologist or geneticist. He speaks of mutations causing change as if that would be a simple process. There are millions of simultaneous biochemical reactions going on in any living DNA based system. A mutation in any one gene only serves to cause a loss of function, if not death. That would be a ridiculous way for God to develop separate species.

    What genetics does show is that all DNA based systems use a common model. However, for each separate genetic “kind” all of the mechanisms necessary for that “kind” to live and reproduce would have to be created simultaneously.

    Dr. Schroeder also seems to be unaware of the large volume of evidence that shows that humans and dinosaurs co-existed. Dinosaurs were created on the same day that humankind was. Researchers have recovered soft tissue from dinosaur fossils – an impossibility if they were extinct 65 million years before modern humans.

    So how then do we reconcile the apparent age of the universe with 6 days? The answer is quite simple. God created the universe in a mature state. All of the plants were created already mature and able to reproduce. All animal life was also created mature and able to reproduce. The stars were created in their places in order to give signs for humankind – based on what we know of the speed of light, the result is that the stars appear to be billions of years old. But the reality is that they were created that old.

    Isaiah 40:22 He who sits above the circle of the earth — for whom its inhabitants appear like grasshoppers — stretches out the heavens like a curtain, spreads them out like a tent to live in.

    • William blank says:

      I agree with what Dawn Irion said. Dr. Schroeder got his degrees ( was brainwashed) from MIT. His concept of the fossil record is ludicrous. Evidently he doesn’t believe in the flood of Genesis 7 and 8 which accounts for the fossil record. The Bible says the wages of sin is death. There couldn’t be any death before Adam’s sin. Obviously fossils are a result of the death of creatures so they had to come after Adam’s sin. Dr. Schroeder is just another person that cannot comprehend the fact that Almighty God has the power to create whatever He wants instantaneously. Also, there are many recent scientific discoveries that prove a young earth.

    • Good points out there. But how we could be sure how long the time period was between Adam’s creation, life in the Garden and his fall? It could have been very long time, even millions of years when looking from this day to the past because of the scientific principle which Dr. Schroeder already presented here. Well, I don’t believe in his idea of “biblical evolution” though.

      Anyways the time “flew” in eternity and it was different than now. We cannot understand that because we are living in a different world age of the fallen world with different concept of time. And what about the universe before the creation of the Earth and our solar system and Milky Way home galaxy? Remember the stars were created in the Fourth Day. The “light” (Messiah and the angels?) was revealed (“let there be light!”) and separated from the “darkness” (haSatan and his angels?) in the “First Day” or Yom Echad, Day One. That didn’t happen in the Fourth Day so the “light” in the Day One could not be the Sun, the moon and the stars b/c they were created in the Fourth Day.

      The Hebrew text in Bereshit / Gen 1 (especially the Hebrew words which mean the heaven and earth) and science proves the creation account could not be about the creation of the whole universe which is much older than our solar system and Milky Way galaxy, but the creation of heaven (our sky, our solar system and our home galaxy) and the planet Earth. That’s the biblical “Adamic context” of time b/c Adam was created to rule the world (the Earth / Eretz).

      But was there “Angelic concept” of time before Adam in the eternity of the ancient universe? I think the existence of the angels proves that the man is unique and created from the dust and there were no “pre-adamic beings”. Angels are like human beings. I would want to ask from Dr. Schoeder were there evolution of angels as well and how that fits to the Bible and the rebellion of satan? Anyways the angels could not have been created at the same time with Adam but way much before. In the Day One? Additionally when the sin was found in the cherub (satan)? In the eternity of the Garden or before? Not necessarily but way much before in the Day One which could have been billions of years long. Well, the eternity in the Garden (before the fall) could have been millions or even billions of years as well. We don’t know but I don’t believe haSatan could had persuaded millions of Yehovah’s angels to join his rebellion in a short time period. I believe the rebellion occurred in the Day One when the “light was separated from the darkness”. I believe the light of the Day One is metaphysical light. Light of the angels and the Firstborn (Reshit) Son. That’s why BeReshit 1 says “In the beginning God created” or “In the Firstborn God created…”?

      The Light (Yehovah, His Firstborn Son and the angels) stood as One Mind (echad) against the darkness (haSatan and his forces)! That’s why I believe the name of the day is Yom Echad. They Day of the “Intergalactic Unity” of Light. Shabbat Shalom from Finland!

      • I wanted to say that I believe you are headed in the right direction with your views as is Dr. Gerald Schroeder. You elude to a “timing” aspect and I think this is key, ie; the order of operation concerning these things. I will submit above, my own rendition in hope of straightening this mess out and putting things in proper order. I’m delignted to see the many good points being submitted albeit, in muddled fashion. Yes, I could wish that Dr. Schroeder were also a Geneticist or at the very least, willing to hear their now concrete conclusions. He would be “lightyears” beyond his present position.

      • Sooooo, I wrote a comment with the 1st discussion on this and I should expound here also. This is “good stuff” and as others, I’d like to send out blessings to Brother Gordon and Schroeder. NOW, with so many great ideas and concepts from the interview(s) and comments, ones brain can be easily fried so with my humble submittal, I’m going to attempt to straighten things out a bit and put proper perspective to these issues. Here goes; In the 1st discussions comments section I mentioned 3 quests that must be answered in order to get down to the foundation concernings these things. I don’t believe we’ll get there today but perhaps close. Dr. Schroeder is the 1st of his kind to actually head in the right direction as far as I know or have heard and he has a ways to go yet. Taking into account and listening to what a proper Geneticist would say concerning the evolution of life would certainly go along ways. There is a comment below that is quite revealing about this aspect. Also, I believe that we have to stop talking about time outside of the physical creation. We see that time was made for present man and when God changes present mortal man to the imortal state, time will not be necessary and will be “no more”, we are informed. NOW, please consider that there are basically 3 parts as to relating to our existence. The 1st is before the foundations of the earth was laid (no time as we know it). The 2nd is after the foundations of the world was laid (our present existence with time added) and last but not least is the 3rd being after the “Last Great Day” when all will be rolled up as a scroll and then unrolled anew again! (time will be done away with as it won’t be needed). The muddling up occurs by not following the order of this. Dr. Schroeder puts forth that fleshly beings with parents existed kinda like animals without souls(I’m going to correct that here and say “spirits”). The error here is in thinking that the body came before the spirit! NO NO, the body was created FOR the spirit!, and if so, there seems no possible reasoning in God’s scheme of things to let a body wonder around without that for which it was formed. Sooooo, where did all these spirits come from which would ultimately find their places in the bodies forthcoming? And, timing wise, were they “fallen” when they arrived in their temporary bodies of flesh? If you can answer these, you will be way way ahead of the game! There ARE answers! I will give the answer to one. “The spirits were fallen when put into the bodies!” You my friends, SIN because you ARE SINNERS!! Now, you can put 2 & 2 together and run with it. See?, if the Spirits/you, were not fallen when placed into flesh then God created “fallen spirits”! You may say then, “I was perfect flesh and Spirit, then I sinned and became a sinner. You could say that about Adam, perhaps and you would be wrong but what about YOU when YOU were born into this world? Were you perfect and innocent when conceived? No, the Scriptures teach us differently. So,,,, God did not create fallen spirits and the Spirits are responsible for their own sin which is why we need a Savior. I hope I haven’t lost you here. Dr. Schroeder mentions that God wants a “partner” so to speak and he is correct but that doesn’t quite get to what God is really after. What our Father is really after is RELATIONSHIP, close, loving, deep relationship! I will ask here, “what self respecting perfect Angel would even THINK to rebel against Almignty God, Lucifer included? Only an Angel who really and truely didn’t know his Father very well. That’s what! So your Father is doing something that he has wanted all along sense the beginning, AND YOU are in the middle of it. Relationship is what He is building. Relationship like you can’t imagine! THIS IS WHAT ALL THIS, IS ALL ABOUT! Three existences part of the overall process. Three is the number of salvation, by the way. I hope I’ve given you enough foundational order in this brief discourse to get you thinking “orderly”. I believe that is what Nehemiah and Dr. Schroeder would like to see and I could go on and on about the miscomprehended Shama, time, no time dimensions, trinity and all the rest but you have enough for now. So be it and blessings to all.

  • Rocky Jackson says:

    P.S. Contact is in my top (3) movies of all time
    And growing up if I may say so with Carl Sagan was an an pleasure also one extremely brilliant man. I can’t seemly think of an cosmos episode where Carl didn’t mention G-D…

  • Rocky Jackson says:

    Well I must say ” TORAHLICIOUS MAXIMUS”
    fully convinced that between these episodes and with Dr Brand we MUST have MORE …
    and further more very stunning is his comments about Yeshua!

    Must have more!
    Maybe you can Record those classes your invited to and share that also with us Nehemia.

  • J'ahdor says:

    Carl Sagan nearly diced my faith out of existence. When I was a child I had no question that science and the Bible somehow worked together. It is thrilling to hear this perspective from a respected physicist who has faith. The discussions abound in my household due to this study. Thank you, Nehemiah for bringing Dr. Schroeder, his books and his teachings to my table.

  • Rick says:

    I have been a huge fan of Dr. Schroeder since I first watched his video, “Believe in God in 5 Minutes (Scientific Proof).” I have subsequently watched many of his videos on YouTube. Several of them I have watched many times. I am never bored with them. One of my favorites is his second interview with Zola Levitt. In it he expands on his view that the six 24 hour days of creation as cited in the Bible corresponds perfectly with the scientific evidence of a 15 billion year universe.
    The flow of time from both vantage points and the scientific understanding of the various eras tie in seamlessly. If this is your cup of tea and you have an extra 28 minutes you may enjoy this video as well.